849 F.3d 17 (2nd Cir. 2017), 15-2870, Darnell v. Pineiro, Docket No.
|Citation:||849 F.3d 17|
|Opinion Judge:||John G. Koeltl, District Judge:|
|Party Name:||KEVIN DARNELL, GERMAIN CANO, MICHAEL GLENN, MICHAEL MCGHEE, KERRY SCOTT, TRAVIS GORDAN, GREGORY MAUGERI, DMITRIY MILOSLAVSKIY, STEVEN MODES, JACQUELINE GUARINO, MICHAEL SPALANGO, WESLEY JONES, RAYMOND TUCKER, YVONNE MING, NANCY VIGLIONE, KEITH JENNINGS, ELLI VIKKI, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF A CLASS OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, ERIC CEPHUS,|
|Attorney:||SCOTT A. KORENBAUM (Stephen Bergstein, on the brief), Bergstein & Ullrich, LLP, Chester, NY, for Plaintiffs-Appellants. ZACHARY W. CARTER, (Richard Dearing, Devin Slack, Kathy Chang Park, on the brief), Corporation Counsel of the City of New York, New York, NY, for Defendants-Appellees.|
|Judge Panel:||Before: LEVAL AND LOHIER, Circuit Judges, and KOELTL, District Judge.[*]|
|Case Date:||February 21, 2017|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit|
Plaintiffs, 20 state pretrial detainees, filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that the City and the supervisory officers of a pre-arraignment holding facility were deliberately indifferent to allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement at the holding facility. The district court granted summary judgment for defendants, denied plaintiffs' motion to reconsider; and denied a subsequent ... (see full summary)
Argued September 22, 2016
Twenty state pretrial detainees brought individual § 1983 claims in the same complaint alleging that the City of New York and the supervisory officers of a pre-arraignment holding facility (collectively, " the defendants" ) were deliberately indifferent to allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement at the holding facility. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Kuntz, J.) granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants, denied the detainees' motion to reconsider that judgment, and denied a subsequent motion to reconsider the denial of the motion for reconsideration. The detainees appealed. The detainees concede that certain claims were properly dismissed. As to those claims, we affirm the District Court's judgment. However, because there were genuine disputes as to material facts with respect to the challenged conditions of confinement, the individual defendants' knowledge of those conditions, and the failure to remedy those conditions, as well as to the liability of the City of New York, we vacate the judgment as to the remaining claims that were dismissed and remand for further proceedings.
SCOTT A. KORENBAUM (Stephen Bergstein, on the brief), Bergstein & Ullrich, LLP, Chester, NY, for Plaintiffs-Appellants.
ZACHARY W. CARTER, (Richard Dearing, Devin Slack, Kathy Chang Park, on the brief), Corporation Counsel of the City of New York, New York, NY, for Defendants-Appellees.
Before: LEVAL AND LOHIER, Circuit Judges, and KOELTL, District Judge.[*]
John G. Koeltl, District Judge:
This is a case about unconstitutional conditions of confinement for pretrial detainees. Twenty state pretrial detainees (" the plaintiffs" )1 arrested on separate dates between July 10, 2011, and July 23, 2013, brought individual § 1983 claims in the same complaint against the City of New York (the " City" ), New York City Police Department (" NYPD" ) Captain Kenneth Kobetitsch, and NYPD Captain William Tobin (the " individual defendants" ) (collectively, " the defendants" ).2 The plaintiffs alleged that they were each subjected to appalling conditions of confinement while held pre-arraignment at Brooklyn Central Booking (" BCB" ) with deliberate indifference to the deprivation of their Fourteenth Amendment due process rights. Because BCB was only a pre-arraignment holding facility, no plaintiff was held at BCB for more than twenty-four hours.
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Kuntz, J.) granted summary judgment to the defendants, reasoning that the plaintiffs failed to meet both the objective and subjective requirements for a claim of unconstitutional conditions of confinement based on a theory of deliberate indifference. The District Court concluded that, with respect to the " objective prong," no plaintiff could establish an objectively substantial deprivation of any constitutional rights because no plaintiff actually suffered a serious injury, or was " regularly denied his or her basic human needs or was exposed to conditions that posed an unreasonable risk of serious damage to his or her future health" for more than twenty-four hours; nor could any plaintiff establish the " subjective prong" of a deliberate indifference claim by proving that the individual defendants were actually aware of any dangerous conditions, or that the individual defendants acted unreasonably in responding to any such conditions; nor, for similar reasons, could the plaintiffs establish that the individual defendants acted with punitive intent. See Cano v. City of New York, 119 F.Supp.3d 65, 74, 82, 85-86 (E.D.N.Y. 2015). Because no plaintiff could prove a constitutional deprivation, the District Court also held that the individual defendants were entitled to qualified immunity, and that the plaintiffs could not establish that the City was liable pursuant to Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of City of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 690-91, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978). See Cano, 119 F.Supp.3d at 86-87.
The District Court issued its opinion shortly after the Supreme Court's decision in Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 135 S.Ct. 2466, 192 L.Ed.2d 416 (2015), in which the Supreme Court held that, for excessive force claims brought under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, " a pretrial detainee must show only that the force purposely or knowingly used against him was objectively unreasonable." Id. at 2473. The Court rejected the requirement that, for such claims, a pretrial detainee establish a state of mind component to the effect that the official applied the force against the pretrial detainee " maliciously and sadistically to cause harm." Id. at 2475 (citation omitted). The District Court's opinion was also issued two weeks before this Court's decision in Willey v. Kirkpatrick, 801 F.3d 51, 66-68 (2d Cir. 2015), in which this Court held that while the proper inquiry for a conditions of confinement claim is by reference to the duration and severity of the conditions, the claim did not require a " minimum duration" or " minimum severity" to reach the level of a constitutional violation. This Court further made clear that a " serious injury is unequivocally not a necessary element of an Eighth Amendment [conditions of confinement] claim." Id. at 68.
The District Court did not analyze the implications of Kingsley in its opinion. Moreover, the District Court denied the plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration based on Willey, as well as the plaintiffs' later motion for reconsideration of the order denying the first motion for reconsideration, because the District Court found that the plaintiffs' appeal of the summary judgment order divested it of jurisdiction over the case.
Among other issues, this case requires us to consider whether, consistent with Willey, and the precedents on which it is based, appalling conditions of confinement cannot rise to an objective violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause so long as the detainee is subjected to those conditions for no more than twenty-four hours, and the detainee does not suffer an actual, serious injury during that time. This case also requires us to consider whether Kingsley altered the standard for conditions of confinement claims under the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause.3
For the reasons explained below, we affirm in part, and vacate in part, the District Court's judgment, and remand the case to the District Court for further proceedings.
In reviewing the District Court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants, " we construe the evidence in the light most favorable to the Plaintiffs, drawing all reasonable inferences and resolving all ambiguities in their favor." CILP Assocs., L.P. v. PriceWaterhouse Coopers LLP, 735 F.3d 114, 118 (2d Cir. 2013) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). We affirm the grant of summary judgment only where " there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Our review is de novo. Ruggiero v. County of Orange, 467 F.3d 170, 173 (2d Cir. 2006).
This is a lawsuit on behalf of twenty individual plaintiffs rather than a class action. As such, this is a review of a judgment dismissing the separate claims of twenty plaintiffs that were filed in a single complaint.
In its analysis, the District Court did not perform individualized assessments of each plaintiff's claims, reasoning instead that, because no plaintiff's confinement at BCB exceeded twenty-four hours, and no plaintiff suffered an actual, serious physical injury, no plaintiff could establish a violation. As discussed below, the District Courted erred in its analysis. Although the evidence differed with respect to the conditions that each plaintiff was subjected to, we summarize the facts...
To continue readingFREE SIGN UP